Dignitaries from Bridport paid their respects to French fisherman lost at sea on a visit to North West France.
Bridport Twinning Association members, the town’s mayor, clerk and crier recently returned from joining in the Benediction de la Mer event held once every ten years in St Vaast La Hougue.
Hosted by the French twinning association members, the Bridport delegation joined in the event which sees boats being blessed to protect the sailors from misfortune.
The fishing boats in Normandy harbour were festooned, alongside the rest of the town, with decorations and flowers made from coloured tissue paper by the locals. This year, the decorations included a giant lobster, seahorses, matelots and everything marine.
The benediction event began with a civic parade through Normandy to the harbour side, followed by a service led by the Bishop of Coutances and Avranches. The boats then sailed out to sea and the Benediction de la Mer (blessing) was carried out by The Right Reverend Laurent le Boulc’h (the Bishop) on board the Jean Renet. Later there was a further smaller ceremony of thanksgiving at The Seaman’s Chapel in honour of all the fishermen whose bodies were never recovered.
Jonathan Bourbon of the Bridport Twinning Association said: “The weather over the weekend was fantastic and everyone involved had a great time in a very beautiful place.”